Incontinence

14 September 2016

Exercise app may reduce incontinence

An app developed in Sweden was shown to be efficient as a first-line treatment for women with stress urinary incontinence.

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Urinary leakage whilst coughing and jumping is common in women. Using a self-administered treatment via a mobile app called Tät® for three months reduced symptoms, led to fewer leakages and improved quality of life.

Free app

This according to a study within the project eContinence (in Swedish Tät.nu) at Umeå University published in Neurology and Urodynamics.

"The results of our evaluation clearly show that the app Tät® was efficient as a first-line treatment for women with stress urinary incontinence," says Eva Samuelsson, associate professor at the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine and in charge of the project tät.nu. "Self-managed exercises also seem to be an appreciated form of treatment, which is why we have made the app available free for everyone."

Read: 6 everyday things to avoid if you have urge incontinence

eContinence is a research project conducted by researchers at the Unit for Family Medicine at Umeå University. The objective has been to develop, evaluate and implement eTreatments for urinary incontinence.

The app Tät® was developed in collaboration with the university's IT developing office, ITS. The app offers information on incontinence, lifestyle advice, pelvic floor exercises, reminders and statistics.

The app has been evaluated in a study with 123 participating women from all over Sweden. Participants were randomly chosen for either treatment using the app for three months or for a control group without treatment.

Pelvic floor exercises

The self-reported results and lists of leakage showed that the situation for women who had used the app improved with regard to symptoms, quality of life, number of leakages and use of incontinence pads, and participants experienced an improvement.

Read: Should you keep a bladder diary?

The number of leakages was reduced from a median of three times to once per day in the group that had used the app. The noticeable changes were compared with the participants in the control group to be statistically significant.

Incontinence is a common inconvenience for women, but basic treatment based on pelvic floor exercises is often efficient. But many women never seek help, despite the fact that the treatment is simple and efficient.

This is often due to a perception that the troubles are embarrassing to talk about or that women feel badly treated in the health care system.

"We are aware that many women with these problems never seek help in usual health care. Instead, they seek information on their own. By offering treatment via an app, we are hoping that more women will discover and gain access to efficient treatment," says Ina Asklund, general practitioner in Krokom in Jämtland county council and doctoral student at the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.

Read more:

What is incontinence?

Causes of incontinence

Risk factors for incontinence

EurekAlert

 

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Incontinence Expert

Prenevin Govender completed his MBChB at the University of Cape Town in 2001. He obtained his Fellowship of the College of Urologists in 2009 and graduated with distinction for a Masters in Medicine from the University of Cape Town in 2010. His special interests include laparoscopic, pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence surgery. He consults full-time at Life Kingsbury Hospital in Claremont.

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